The Masonic Trowel

... to spread the cement of brotherly love and affection, that cement which unites us into one sacred band or society of brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble emulation of who can best work or best agree ...

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

 Masonic quotes by Brothers

Search Website For

Add To Favorites

Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!

List of Contributors

PDF This File

Print This Page

Email This Site To ...

The Antiquity and Value of Freemasonry

Extracts from the Masonic oration of Dewitt Clinton, made June, 1806.

"Of all institutions which have been established for the purpose of improving our condition, none are more beneficial than the charitable ones, and these are as diversified as the wants and miseries of man. Among associations of this description, Freemasonry stands as pre-eminent in usefulness as it is in age. Its origin is lost in the abyss of unexplored antiquity. No historical records, no traditionary accounts can point out the time, the place, or the manner of its commencement. While some have endeavored to discover its footsteps among the master-builders and artists engaged in the construction of the Jewish Temple: others have attempted to trace it to the Eleusinian mysteries, which are said to have taught the immortality of the soul, and other sublime truths of natural religion. Some again have ascribed its rise to the sainted heroes of the Crusades, while others have endeavored to penetrate the mysteries of the Druids, and to discover its origin among the wise men of that institution. Amid this uncertainty, which must ever result from the absence of written history, our safest course is to avoid a particular conclusion, and rest satisfied with the general conviction that our Society is the most ancient benevolent institution in the world. It is remarked by an eloquent and profound delineator of nature, that no other species but that of man is generally diffused over the globe. The assimilation of his nature to every clime and country indicates his excellence and demonstrates his superiority. This remark may be applied with some modification, to our Institution. While other societies are either ephemeral in point of duration, or limited in respect to place, Freemasonry is co-extensive with the enlightened part of the human race, and has raised its insignia in every quarter of the globe. Wherever man, in his cultivated state, fixes his habitation, Freemasonry may be seen enlightening and consoling him. No diversity of religion or form of Government opposes barriers to her progress. Amid the dark clouds of fanaticism and despotism she may be seen shining with unsullied brightness, diffusing light and imparting joy. In countries where one man's happiness is the cause of all men's misery, we observe with astonishment, the ardor with which our Institution is cultivated, and the eagerness with which it is embraced by all descriptions of men; but our astonishment must cease when we reflect that it inculcates the natural equality of mankind. It declares that all brethren are upon it level, and admits of no rank except the priority of merit; while its only aristocracy is the nobility of virtue. The eagerness, therefore, with which men resort, in despotic Countries, to the standard of Freemasonry, is the effort of nature to discover her original rights, and to surmount the corruptions of society. Amid the pleasing intercourse of brethren, the artificial distinctions of rank and office, and the adventitious advantages of wealth, are lost. Seeing the strong hold which Masonry has upon the human heart; that it entwines itself with the best sympathies of our nature, and is approved by the most enlightened faculties of the mind; that all the terrors of punishment, even the horrid Inquisition, has not been able to destroy the Institution; that like the true religion, it has flourished on the blood-stained soil of persecution - who can fail to realize its worth? The despotic ruler, perceiving these striking characteristics of Freemasonry, and despairing of extirpating it, has endeavored to make it an engine of State, or to regulate it in a way conformable to his interests; hence he has frequently descended from his throne, approached with reverential awe our sacred altars, and mingled freely among the brotherhood.  

The beneficent and enlightened ruler, although clothed with unlimited power, yet anxious for the good of his subjects, cannot fail of countenancing an institution calculated to produce so much good to mankind. Hence, from different motives, and with various views, our society has been encouraged and fostered in the most ungenial climes. Its progress in free nations, where law, liberty and good order prevail, has been singularly great; but in these United States it has attained an elevation and a Perfection unequalled in other countries. It travels with our population from the Atlantic to the Michigan - from the St. Lawrence to the Missouri; it flourishes in the sequestered hamlet, as well as in the wealthy city; it is embraced by all descriptions of men, as a softener of the cares and an improver of the felicities of life."  

The National Freemason supplies an account of a late meeting of an English Provincial Grand Lodge, at which four Lewises were called to the Grand Master's chair, and each presented with a Bible, bearing the following inscription:-  

"Presented by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Worcestershire, to a Lewis, who at a Provincial Grand Meeting held in the city of Worcester, on Thursday, 21st of June, 1866, for the installation of Albert Hudson Royds, Esq, as Provincial Grand Master, assisted in carrying the volume of the Sacred Law in Procession from the Guildhall to the Cathedral. The Provincial Grand Master, in presenting this the Great Light in Masonry, charges him to give it his most serious contemplation, and ever to consider it as the unerring standard of Truth and Justice, and to regulate his life and actions by the Divine precepts which it contains." A.H. Royds, Prov. G.M.  

The Prov. G. Master thanked the boys for their services that day, and advised them to remember this: Masons looked upon their life as a ladder, which had the Bible for its base. They took the Sacred Law as their foundation, and he hoped they would always do so; that they would never be ashamed of their profession; and he trusted they would preserve this holy book to the latest day of their life.

back to top

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United States or elsewhere.
It is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion
of Freemasonry, nor webmaster nor those of any other regular Masonic body other than those stated.

DEAD LINKS & Reproduction | Legal Disclaimer | Regarding Copyrights

Last modified: March 22, 2014